Ryan Chen

Engineer. Musician.

Ryan Chen - Engineer & Musician.

the role of offensive system in the nba draft

For the 2016 UNC SPEIA Basketball Analytics Summit case competition sponsored by the Charlotte Hornets, Eli Shayer, Travis Chen, Nick Canova, and I created a model to determine how knowledge about offensive systems can provide insight into how NBA draft prospects might perform in the NBA.

Some key findings:

  • The similarity between collegiate and NBA offensive systems has no effect on a player's performance.  That is, a statement like "<Player X> is a good fit for <Team Y> because the offensive system he played in college is similar to the one he would join if drafted by <Team Y>" is not quantitatively justified.
  • The proportion of certain play types (e.g. isolation, transition, post up) that a collegiate offense runs can be good predictors of whether players that come from that offense will be stars or busts in the NBA.

Nick Canova wrote a series of blog posts about our work (Part 1Part 2, & Part 3). I also went on The Sports Shop Radio on WRAL (Raleigh) to talk about our work.

Our submission won the case competition and has been presented at a meeting of the Stanford Sports Analytics Club, the 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN, and in a session of GSBGEN 360 Sports Business Management at Stanford University.

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